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Oliver Rando is a professor and head of the Rando Lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He joins the show to discuss his research on epigenetic inheritance.

You’ll learn the following:

  • How the research being done in Rando’s lab has shown that in mouse models, a father’s environment can influence some phenotypes in children
  • When the first example of epigenetic inheritance was discovered in mammals, and how it adds to the understanding of both Prader-Willi syndrome and Angelman syndrome
  • Whether or not the evidence suggests that changes through epigenetic inheritance may be additive in nature or have the ability to be “locked in” after multiple generations are exposed

When data that doesn’t belong to the DNA sequence itself affects the phenotype of an organism in some way, and when that phenotypic change is passed on from a parent to a child, epigenetic inheritance is said to occur. It was only two or three decades ago that there was near consensus in the scientific community that epigenetic information could not be passed between generations.

However, a growing number of research studies are now showing that that’s simply not the case. One such study is taking place in Oliver Rando’s lab, where he and his team are using mouse models to demonstrate that the environmental conditions of a father can impact the phenotype of the father’s offspring.

In addition to discussing the details of his research, Rando touches on the nature of some other interesting types of research going on in the area of epigenetic inheritance. He also talks about the limitations and gaps in this type of research, and what he aims to accomplish in the coming years.

Tune in for the full conversation and learn more at https://www.umassmed.edu/randolab/.

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